Archive for Meta Analysis

Diving into Statcast Sprint Speed

In April, Statcast quietly introduced a new speed metric dubbed Sprint Speed. It wasn’t until late June that Baseball Savant made the leaderboards publicly available and we now have data going back to 2015. I have been meaning to dive into the data to find any incremental value, and finally the day has come. From the leaderboard page, the metric is described as thus:

Sprint Speed is Statcast’s foot speed metric, defined as “feet per second in a player’s fastest one-second window.” The Major League average on a “max effort” play is 27 ft/sec, and the max effort range is roughly from 23 ft/sec (poor) to 30 ft/sec (elite). A player must have at least 10 max effort runs to qualify for this leaderboard.

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Poll 2017: Which Group of Pitchers Performs Better?

Since 2013, I have polled you dashingly attractive readers on which group of pitchers you think will post the better aggregate ERA post all-star break. The two groups were determined based on ERA-SIERA disparity, pitting the underperformers versus the overperformers during the pre-all-star break period.

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The All-Star Break Batter Shopping List — Batting Average

Yesterday, I identified a group of hitters worth buying for their home run upside, given the discrepancy between their actual HR/FB rate and xHR/FB rate. Today, I move over to batting average, as I identify the hitters whose xBABIP marks most exceed their actual BABIP marks. These are the guys to target for batting average that you may be able to get at a discount.

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The All-Star Break Batter Shopping List — Home Runs

The All-Star break provides a much needed rest and a perfect opportunity to assess your team(s). The last time I used xHR/FB rate to identify hitters due for a home run spike was in the middle of May, so now is an excellent time to name names once again. These are the fantasy relevant hitters whose xHR/FB rates most exceed their actual HR/FB rates, which represents a strong list of acquisition targets if you’re looking to bolster your standing in the home run department and are hoping to buy at a discount.

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Mid-season Arsenal Scores

About a month ago, I started searching for the league’s underthrown pitches. Pitches that despite inducing elite swing-and-miss, ground ball, and pop-up rates, are thrown with scarcity relative to other inferior offerings. It was as an enlightening a topic to research, as it dealt with untapped potential, as it was a fun series to write. Though to be honest, there wasn’t a whole lot of actionable fantasy advice to be gleamed. But in the process of writing those pieces, I had to grade each pitch. And arsenal scores, a subject of interest to the RotoGraphs community over the years, were just a stone’s throw from away from the groundwork I’d already laid.
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State of the Fantasy Game: Mid-Season Report

It’s been a unique fantasy season in which I’ve never experienced. Pitchers should be dominating the landscape with strikeouts at an all-time high. They’re not because home runs are also at an all-time high. With this unique environment, the fantasy norms which owners have been familiar with no longer exist. No one has played fantasy baseball in this high strikeout and home run environment because it has never existed before.

Here are some new guidelines for navigating this season and thinking towards next season.

Home runs have pushed scoring is up, but not to any historical levels

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Starting Pitcher Strikeout Rate Downside

On Thursday for my American League starting pitching slot, I used my expected strikeout rate metric to determine which starters have the most strikeout rate upside given the components of the equation (strike percentage, along with swinging, looking, and foul strike rates). Today, I’ll look at the starters with strikeout rate downside hinted at by xK%, but expand my group of pitchers to both leagues.

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Underthrown Pitches And The Pitchers Who Underthrow Them: Putting It All Together

Over the last several weeks, I’ve scoured Baseball Prospectus’ PitchF/x leaderboards for the league’s underthrown pitches. We’ve covered two different pitch types each week starting with four-seam fastballs and sinkers in the first installment, cutters and curves in the second, and sliders and changeups last week. This week, we put it all together. Now that we’ve identified the most underthrown pitches, who should consider overhauling his entire pitch mix to make the most of his electric stuff?

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AL Starting Pitcher Strikeout Rate Upside

Earlier this year, I updated my pitcher expected strikeout rate metric, or xK%, with new coefficients. The equation uses a pitcher’s overall percentage of strikes thrown, as well as the breakdown between the types of strikes he generates — swinging, looking, and foul. We could use xK% over a smaller sample given that its denominator is pitches, rather than batters faces, so it likely stabilizes much more quickly.

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Starting Pitcher ERA-SIERA Gaps: Potential ERA Regressers

Yesterday, I listed the 20 pitchers with the largest gaps between their ERA and SIERA marks, with their ERA marks sitting significantly higher than their SIERA marks, suggesting serious potential for improvement moving forward. Today, I’ll list the pitchers on the other side of the coin, the 20 with ERA marks significantly lower than their SIERA marks, suggesting real potential for ERA regression.

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